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Entries in Seattle Mariners (36)

Saturday
Aug132011

Best Offspeed Hitters

Top 20 Offspeed Hitters by AVG, 2010-2011 (Min. 300 offspeed pitches faced)

While Justin Morneau has the highest batting average on offspeed pitches of all players since the start of the 2010 season, Ichiro has collected the most hits (140) over that period....This season, new Phillie Hunter Pence leads all hitters with 63 hits on offspeed pitches....Cleveland Indian Lou Marson has the lowest batting average on offspeed pitches (.116) of all active players since 2010.

Wednesday
Aug032011

Ackley Owns the Strike Zone

The Seattle Mariners rank dead last in the American League in runs scored for a third straight season, but no one can blame rookie second baseman Dustin Ackley.

The second overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft began the year at Triple-A Tacoma, where he batted .303/.421/.487 and posted a 55-to-38 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has continued to show superb plate discipline since his big league promotion in mid-June. Ackley has a .312/.377/.565 line in 154 plate appearances, drawing 15 walks and punching out just 20 times.

The key to Ackley's early success has been his willingness to lay off pitches thrown out of the strike zone and his ability to make contact. The 23-year-old exhibits the plate approach of a wise veteran:

 Ackley's swing rate by pitch location

League average swing rate by pitch location

Ackley has chased a little over 18 percent of pitches thrown out of the zone, compared to the 28 percent league average. That's the twelfth-lowest chase rate among MLB batters with 150+ plate appearances.

And when Ackley does swing, he rarely misses:

Ackley's contact rate by pitch location League average contact rate by pitch location

The lefty has missed slightly less than 14 percent of the pitches that he has swung at, well south of the 20 percent league average.

According to Baseball-Reference, Ackley's bat has already produced 12 runs compared to that of an average hitter. The rest of Seattle's hitters have a collective -105 batting runs. Talk about a one man show.

Friday
Jul082011

Who is getting Squeezed?

Time to check in on which pitchers aren't getting the close calls from umpires:

(ClStk%=called strikes/pitches taken; Data based on PitchFX strike zone.)C.J. Wilson (TEX) ranks number one in terms of the most pitches called balls in the strike zone with 124.  But this is due to volume; Wilson has thrown the second most pitches within the strike zone in the majors this season behind only Cliff Lee (PHI)

Doug Fister (SEA) and Cliff Lee rank second and third in most missed strikes with 114 and 108 respectively.  Chad Billingsley (LAD) comes in 4th with 107 missed strikes - combine that with his overall 17th ranking in lowest called strike percentage in the zone, and he's a good candidate for the most squeezed pitcher in baseball this season.

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